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Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: Splashdown by David Wood and Rick Chesler


Splashdown by David Wood and Rick Chesler is a Dane and Bones Origins Story that gives us another look at the early adventures that these two Navy SEALs had together. This also helps to give some background into how they learned many of their skills used in marine archaeology after their "retirement" from the Navy. This is a fast paced ride that I couldn't put down and includes a lot of interesting characters and..... creatures. I won't explain much on those since i think they are an awesome part of this story that you will just have to read to find out about.

This is the first Origins Story I have read and it gives just as much excitement as the Dane Maddock Adventure series but with more military background since both Dane and Bones and Navy SEALs. We join Dane and Bones while they are finishing up submersible pilot training in the Pacific and get to see how the two learn to work together and forge their close bond. The training comes in handy and is one reason they are picked for a special assignment to retrieve a Cold War-era nuclear bomb a few hundred miles off the coast of Florida. Excitement and mayhem are running right at the start of this adventure and it doesn't let up. From dealing with a television crew, to underwater submersible fights, to escaping from a crazed Russian submariner, Dane and Bones take us on a non-stop adventure where the fate of Washington D.C. will be decided and they will face off against some pretty deadly creatures you might find hanging out with Godzilla. You'll see. :-)

Splashdown is definitely worth a read and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. I even read it a second time right away and was still captivated by it. I can't wait to go back and read the rest of the Origins Stories. I did receive a complimentary copy of Splashdown in eBook format for the Kindle from David Wood for preview and review. The opinions in this review are mine alone and from my own personal viewpoint.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Book Review: Atlantis by David Gibbons


Atlantis by David Gibbons is a fascinating and in-depth story that explores the archaeological discovery of Atlantis with just enough action thrown in for suspense. The story is very detailed when it comes to the archaeological aspect of the discovery of Atlantis and I like this refreshing perspective from a novel. Although there are parts that are hard to work through due to the detail, I applaud Gibbins for working through the story with a more academic viewpoint than the usual shoot 'em up scenario where those finding the treasures are not true archaeologists but more bodyguards or guides. There is also quite a bit of action throughout the story and it helps to break up the monotony that can make this a long read at times.

Jack Howard is a marine archaeologist on expedition with his friend Costas and crew when they find a wreckage that delivers to them a unique gold disc with strange markings on it. They discover the wreckage is Minoan and, unbeknownst to them, holds a secret to let them explore a lost civilization in the very near future. This is also the time when a startling discovery is made regarding the lost civilization of Atlantis and a group of the best minds meet together to begin discussing the implications of what has been discovered in the wrappings of a ancient mummy. Howard meets Katya Svetlanova as well during this meeting and she travels with Howard and Costas as they travel and search for the lost city. They begin plotting on ancient maps and travel times to discover the general area where Atlantis will be found and set out to begin the search. As they begin their excavations of the sea they locate structures and land that fit with what they are looking for and begin exploring the area with excitement until they make a frightful discovery. Not only have they discovered the lost civilization of Atlantis but they have also stumbled on a lost Russian nuclear submarine that nations and terrorists will do anything to get their hands on. Time is of the essence as Jack Howard and crew race against the clock to stock a nuclear holocaust and save a lost civilization.

I have to admit that there were quite a few times when Atlantis was very tedious to read through. I had to put the book down for a day or two several times and then start again. I love details in a story so that it helps give you a better view on what the characters are experiencing and the details Gibbins shares helps give the story a more archaeological and scientific feel to it. I do feel that Gibbins went into a bit too much detail on a few things throughout the story though. Overall, this is a excellent book and well worth the read. It's slightly different than the Tyler Locke or Payne and Jones series but still a great read and recommended.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Review: Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson


Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson is a very honest and transparent view of the life of the Duck Commander. Writing his autobiography, Phil Robertson starts from his childhood and moves through the years touching on how he was raised, the early years of family life with Miss Kay and becoming a Christian, and, if course, how Duck Commander came into existence.

Phil Robertson came from "humble, humble beginnings" and, although the early life of Phil Robertson may seem odd to a lot of people, he wouldn't change a bit of it. Phil explains it best by saying they lived "like it was the 1850's" and he takes the time to explain how they grew and hunted their own food and learned to live off of the land. Phil moves on to his time in football and how he met (and married) Miss Kay. Did you know they were married when Phil was only 16 and Miss Kay was 15!? Phil was a great football player and he even tells of his time with a quarterback named Terry Bradshaw and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education and a Master's Degree in Education. Although there is a lot of things back into the first part of the book, it helps you to understand the background of the man who is to become the Duck Commander and gives great insight into the lives of himself and his family.

Phil moves on too some dark days in his life and I am sure it was hard to write but he uses this time as part of his testimony and life story to show how people can change and what changes them. His struggle with alcohol led him to fights and also separated him from his family for months but Miss Kay tells her side of the story as well during this time so you are able to keep a perspective on how both dealt with this time. It's definitely a time of trials for the Robertson's but this is also a time when they face those trials and bring religion and a spiritual perspective into their lives. This is where they begin to ground their lives in the Bible and the saving grace of Jesus Christ and move forward together. Miss Kay's commitment to Phil is definitely something to look at and copy but also Phil's commitment to change his ways and help guide his family down this path they decided to follow.

Phil completes the last half of the book by explaining how they got the land that they are currently living on and started Duck Commander. People think that starting a business is pretty simple and in a lot cases it is but starting a manufacturing business is another thing altogether and takes a lot of trial, error, and time. The inclusion of the entire family to work on the duck calls made this time something they could all be proud of and the tradition is still going today with the family still running the company founded by Phil Robertson. Phil shows that hard work, determination, and a strong faith and family will help you fulfill the goals of your life, whether they are what you were wanting or, actually, what you need. I highly recommend Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson for everyone to read but especially those who are fans of the Duck Dynasty show.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Book Review: The Vault by Boyd Morrison

The Vault

The Vault by Boyd Morrison is the second book in the Tyler Locke series and it doesn't disappoint at all. The Vault continues the fast-paced action and memorable characters that The Ark: A Novel introduced us to. We even get to meet some new characters (The General, anyone?) and go on a new adventure with Locke and Grant Westfield! Who's ready to find King Midas and his golden touch?

Although Locke doesn't go looking for trouble, it seems to find him on a regular basis lately. He is told that there is a bomb on the ferry he is riding and he only has twenty-eight minutes to diffuse it or everyone will be killed along with him on the ferry. This scenario brings Locke together with a new face, Stacy Benedict, and sends them on a wild adventure to rescue their loved ones and stop a thief from stealing a mythical treasure and changing the financial status of the world. Jordan Orr, the stories bad guy, uses Locke's engineering genius and Benedict's PhD in the Classics to solve a ancient puzzle in the Archimedes Codex and find King Midas's final resting place.

The adventure takes the team from Seattle to a deadly race on the autobahn to the underground canals of Naples. This adventure is just as good as The Ark: A Novel and Boyd Morrison does a great job at bringing this story to life. Morrison does a great job at mixing history and science together to bring about a believable story that makes you wonder just how much of this is actually possible. I am sad that Dilara Kenner didn't make it back in the picture but Stacy Benedict did bring a nice touch to the story. Also, just as Indiana Jones has a whip and John Rambo has a knife, Tyler Locke carries his Leatherman everywhere he goes and it helps to get him out of a lot of trouble along the way.

I highly recommend this book and know fans of this genre will not be disappointed. I haven't had this much fun reading a series in quite a while and it is refreshing to see such new perspectives on these histories and legends. Keep up the great work Boyd!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Ark: A Novel by Boyd Morrison [Book Review]



The Ark: A Novel by Boyd Morrison is a fascinating adventure with intriguing characters and a epic quest that will have you turning the pages faster than ever before. I picked this up after getting the The Roswell Conspiracy off of Amazon on a Daily Deal and since I like to begin a series in order, I decided to give The Ark: A Novel a shot. I have to admit I was really surprised with how well this book was written and I couldn't put it down. There is a lot of fast-paced action, twists and turns, a completely new view (for me, anyways) on Noah's Ark, and the characters are great.

Archaeologist Dilara Kenner is contacted by an old family friend with information regarding her father who has been missing for several years. This meeting is the beginning of a wild ride that spans from Seattle, WA to Turkey and everywhere in between. Although the story starts with Kenner, the main focus is on Tyler Locke, former Army combat engineer and current engineer at Gordian, and his best friend Grant Westfield who served with Locke and is currently an electrical engineer at Gordian as well. The purpose of these characters coming together and flying all over the world? To stop the destruction of the world's population and find Noah's Ark of course!

The ideas, places, events, and characters are so real that you feel like you are a part of the adventure too. Reading the Afterword, Morrison explains a lot about the ideas used in the book and how they are real or used in the story. Morrison's blend of reality versus imaginary is extremely well done and helps to make the story move in a very believable direction that a reader can immerse in. It would make for a great movie too!